The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Glenn S. Schoenmann, 20, of Tracy City, Tenn., will be buried Jan. 12, in Palmer, Tenn. In late November 1950, Schoenmann and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team were deployed along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea. Schoenmann was reported missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950, after his unit and U.S. positions were encircled and attacked by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces.
In 1950, a returning American who had survived the attack reported that Schoenmann had been killed in action on Nov. 28, 1950, as a result of sniper wounds. In 1953, that conclusion was amended when an American, who was held as a prisoner of war, told U.S. officials that Schoenmann was wounded by a sniper but not mortally, held captive by the Chinese on Dec. 2, 1950, and died shortly thereafter from malnutrition and lack of medical care.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. service members. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the human remains were recovered from the area where Schoenmann was last seen.
In the identification of the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as radiograph and mitochondrial DNA–which matched Schoenmann’s sister and brother.
Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials. Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War on July 27, 1953. With more than 7,900 Americans still unaccounted for from the conflict, with each one that comes home, brings hope for those families still waiting for their loved ones to come home.
Every time I read about another American coming home, I get choked up when I think that someone’s father, uncle, brother, or other family member is coming home from the war.
It also makes me honored and proud that my first novel, War Remains, was about the Korean War and the ongoing search for MIAs.
I hope you will check it out. It’s a good story.